The lawsuit filed by photographer David LaChapelle against Rihanna and her record label is gathering pace after a New York judge failed to dismiss the case and set a pre-trial date for 10 August.
The fashion photographer is suing the singer, her label Def Jam and her video director for allegedly plagiarising his work for several scenes in her S&M video. He claims they used his ideas for the video’s lighting, theme, wardrobe, setting, concept, colours, props and clothes.
The court agreed with the photographer that the video’s ‘pink room scene’, which featured the star dominating a man in front of pink and white striped walls, was very similar to LaChapelle’s famous ‘Striped Face’ photograph. Another scene, which features Rihanna against a blue background wearing pink latex and placing a sweet on her tongue, has also been singled out.
Despite the copyright case, LaChapelle insisted he was a fan of the Man Down singer. "I like RiRi,” he said. “This is not personal, it's strictly business. Musicians commonly pay to sample music or use someone's beats and there should be no difference when sampling an artist’s visuals."
He is famous for celebrity shoots for Rolling Stone and Vanity Affair magazines, among others, and shot Rihanna for a VMA promo in 2007.
On a brighter note, Jay-Z joined RiRi on stage at her concert in New Jersey this week. He surprised fans by emerging from underneath the stage to join his protégé for the night’s encore, Run This Town and Umbrella.